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Spring arrives earlyTrail users should expect improved conditions, as the spring thaw is four weeks ahead of schedule. But possible rain showers will dampen conditions and users at the low- to mid-level sno-parks are urged to turn around at muddy and soft spots to decrease trail damage. Overall, there are between 8 and 100 inches of snow throughout the area, with higher elevations remaining in…

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WILLAMETTE PASS — Mountain View placed first in the boys team scoring and Summit’s Alex Martin was the individual winner in the freestyle class Friday on the snowy opening day of the 2013 Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association nordic state championships at Willamette Pass Resort. South Eugene captured the first-day honors on the girls side, led by Phacelia Cramer, who placed first overall. South placed…

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Trail update With Chris SaboWinter trails are still fairly icy and crusty. There is a chance of snow at mid to high elevations, which would improve conditions greatly. Wanoga Snoplay AreaSafety is a concern when the slopes get icy and fast. Last week there were at least two ambulance runs up there. If it is icy, folks should consider not even sledding — try some…

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SKIINGBend’s Max wins — Sarah Max, of Bend, placed first among women finishers in the 2013 Vasaloppet USA cross-country ski race, staged Saturday in Mora, Minn. Max, 37, won the women’s division of the 58-kilometer race with a time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, 0. 8 seconds. The Bend skier was 16th overall among 216 race finishers. Jan Guenther, 53 and of Mound, Minn. ,…

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A rare high school skiing doubleheader is planned for this evening at Hoodoo Ski Area, which will host both an alpine race and a nordic competition under the lights. Starting at 4 p. m. , alpine skiers representing Oregon School Ski Association schools will race down a modified giant slalom course on Hoodoo’s Showoff run. OSSA members include Bend, Mountain View, Summit, Redmond, Sisters and…

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On Sunday, Map Guy, my frequent cohort on outdoor adventures, taught me how to cross-country ski. It only cost $20 to rent the skis, boots and poles, all necessary if I was going to investigate The Mystery of Cross-Country Skiing. I coughed up an additional $23 for an annual sno-park permit. This was my first time ever skiing — alpine, skate-ski or classic. The only…